The Gangs of New York is a tour through a now unrecognisable city of abysmal poverty and habitual violence centred around the infamous slum of Five Points, with its rival Irish and American gangs. Cobbled from legend, memory, police records, the self-aggrandizements of aging crooks, popular journalism, and solid historical research, this is a powerful account of New York City's tumultuos past. Asbury presents the definitive work on this subject, an illumination of the gangs of old New York that ultimately gave rise to the modern Mafia and its depiction in cult films like The Godfather.
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"Asbury was a realist and mid-Western moralist whose book is, as Gopnik notes, 'a kind of surrealist collage of the city's secret history'" -- Robert McCrum * Observer * "Like one of the thugs he writes about, he really is an "extraordinary virtuoso in the art of mayhem"" * Financial Times *
About Herbert Asbury
Herbert Asbury was born into a strictly Methodist family in Missouri in 1889. His pious background and his subsequent rejection of Methodism greatly influenced both his philosophy of life and his career as reporter and author. Indeed, many of his books deal with the darker, seamier side of American life. He is best know for his true crime books set in the 19th and early 20th century America. He died in 1963 of chronic lung problems, the legacy of a gas-attack in France during the first World War.
The Gangs Of New York by Herbert Asbury
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